New AAMI data has revealed the most dangerous time to be on Australian roads is in the afternoon, around school pick-up time.
AAMI analysed 340,000 insurance claims from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 and found that between 1pm and 4.30pm was when most road accidents occurred, accounting for almost a third (27 per cent).
AAMI spokesperson Paul Sofronoff said with schools around the country starting back from today it was an opportune time to remind motorists to take special care and attention when driving through school zones.
“It’s frightening that so many road accidents are happening when children, our most vulnerable and inexperienced road users, are crossing roads in large numbers and congregating near bus stops.
“Our research suggests that too many drivers are flouting road rules and are oblivious to the dangers of speeding and driving distracted around schools, putting young lives at risk,” Mr Sofronoff said.
Despite road trauma being the number one killer of children aged 14 and under, alarming research from the Australian Road Safety Foundation found not even having children in the car is a deterrent to taking risks on the road.*
Shockingly, the research revealed more than half (52 per cent) of Australian parents admit to speeding, using their mobile phone or driving distracted while their own kids are in the car.
In fact, when it came to speeding on a regular basis, those with the youngest of children aged under 24 rated the worst (three in four), compared with 69 per cent of parents in general and 67 per cent of motorists without children.
Australian Road Safety Foundation Founder and CEO Russell White said: “These statistics highlight a casual attitude towards risky driving behaviours, and surprisingly more so amongst parents.”
“Despite all the safety messages about slowing down around schools, some parents continue to speed in a rush to pick-up their kids or beat peak-hour traffic but the consequences of this are simply not worth it,” Mr White said.
“Sadly, we know that 1 in 2 Australians have been affected by road trauma, having either lost a loved one or known someone who has suffered permanent injury from a road crash.
“People don’t realise that speeding, even a few kms over the limit in a school zone can be the difference between life and death.
“We urge motorists, parents and children to remain vigilant around roads, particularly in the afternoon, and always expect the unexpected to ensure everyone has a safe first week back to school.”
The AAMI data revealed Friday to be the worst day of the week for crashes, followed by Thursday and Wednesday.
AAMI’s Top Tips for driving around school zones:
- When you are in a school zone avoid using in-car devices like the radio, mobile phones and GPS devices as it’s easy to miss signs to slow down and reduce speed limits.
- Children have limited road-safety awareness and experience, so expect the unexpected.
- Always look out for children disembarking from buses or parents’ cars
- No matter how much of a rush you’re in never overtake cars in a school zone as vehicles can block the view of small children crossing roads and easily lead to an accident
- Make sure to drop kids off in designated drop-off and pick-up zones as directed by the school
- Do not assume the end of timed restrictions mean safety and road rules are no longer a concern
For further information or to arrange an interview:
Note to Editors:
The school principal, Christine Wood of Junction Park School Annerley Brisbane is available for interview
*Research conducted by Pure Profile on behalf of the Australian Road Safety Foundation, April 2019, n=1001 nationally representative by gender, age and location of Australian drivers aged 18 years and over. Parents defined as having one or more offspring considered currently independent if aged 24 years and older or currently dependent if aged under 24 years.